Not a Third Wheel

Just the third day . . . of the 99-cent Forever Poi campaign.  It’s JJ today, providing a bit of a promotional boost.

Our third official Triple Threat Investigation Agency case has us solving a double-arson and murder: who burned down a couple of Chinatown art galleries … and left two bodies in the rubble?

There are certainly numerous suspects.  The day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the gallery owners and an arson victim, broke up with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  They had financial issues, too.  Could James-Henri have set the blaze to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  But how does the second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin, tie in?  It’s possible that with her dubious past a former rival murdered her, but given her new career in the art world, perhaps there’s something else afoot. 

Then there’s Cholla Poniard, James-Henri’s sister.  She’s pretty, audacious, and a definite force to be reckoned with (just ask her two former husbands).  Her lover, one of several, seems treacherous, too.   As a twosome, they’re doubly dangerous.

If you’d like to see how we solve this bizarre case, please check us out here…

https://www.amazon.ca/Forever-Poi-Tyler-Colins/dp/1079716483

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Rounding the Second Bend

Otherwise known as Day Two of the 99-cent Forever Poi promo plug.  It’s JJ today.

Today, through September 11th you can get the fourth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, Forever Poi, for only 99 cents. 

Cousin Reynalda (Rey) and her best friend Linda and I have been hired to solve a double-arson and murder.  Someone burned down two Chinatown art galleries and left two corpses in the remains.

We’re certain the arsonist and killer the same person, but there are a cast of curious (if not dangerous) culprits.  The day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the gallery owners, and arson victims, had an ugly break-up with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  Given the financial issues, might James-Henri have set the galleries ablaze to collect insurance and be free of his lover?  The second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, was a former queenpin; it’s possible that with her dicey past a former foe murdered her.  If so, why was Carlos killed?  In the wrong place at the wrong time?

Perhaps this snippet will pique your interest . . .

Answering the mobile phone in the office-den with a stifled yawn, I idly glanced at a metal weather-station clock that, in addition to time, advised of humidity and temperature.

“Is this the Triple Threat Investigation Agency?” a soft, prickly voice asked.

. . . Crispy? Sleep slipped from my body. “It is. It’s just shy of midnight. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, sure. Which chick’s this?”

I swallowed a retort. “The one with the honey highlights.”

“And black-flow-lava eyes?”

“One and the same. The name’s JJ.”

“JJ, right.” His soft, thin whistle was reminiscent of a White-Throated Sparrow. “I tried A and he’s not answering.”

“Maybe he turned his phone off.” A wave of weariness washed over me and I leaned into a wall. “The guy’s been working long hours.”

“Maybe, but it’s not like him not to be available.”

I forced a neutral tone. “What can I help you with, Crispy?”

“I been asking around. The fire wasn’t set by anyone in my circles.”

“You mean your firebug friends?” I asked dryly.

Incendiary friends, if you don’t mind,” he gibed.

“Big word.”

“For a pyro kinda guy, yeah?” The humming sound reminded me of pigeon laughter.

Crispy gave the impression there was more to him than meets the eye. “Is it possible that it could have been a pro from another island or the Mainland?”

“It was no pro. From the details I got—don’t ask where—this fire was strictly amateur. Successful, yeah, but real amateur.”

I frowned. “Could it have been a pro making it look amateurish?”

“Anything’s possible, as they say, but there’s a pride factor; hear what I’m saying?”

“I hear.” And sighed. “Will you dig a bit more?”

“Sure.”

“Do you have any thoughts?”

“. . . I’m thinking someone really didn’t like one or both of the gallery guys and decided to make a statement.”

“What about the unknown woman who died?”

“Wrong place, wrong time.” He disconnected.

If you’d like to see how we solve this complex case, please check us out here:

https://www.amazon.ca/Forever-Poi-Tyler-Colins/dp/1079716483

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Off to the Races

So to speak.  It’s another five-day marathon of book plugs.  Hey, it’s Rey, with Day One.

Today, through September 11th you can get our third official case (and fourth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series), Forever Poi, for a mere 99 cents.  How awesome is that?

Cousin Jilly and my BFF Linda and I are out to solve a double-arson and murder:  who torched a couple of Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?

Are the arsonist and killer the same person?  We think so and, during the search, encounter a heckuva lot of possible culprits.  Like, the day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the arson victims, had a nasty break-up with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  There were financial issues, too.  Could James-Henri have done the dastardly deed to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  What about the second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin?  With her sketchy past, maybe a former rival murdered her?  If this is the case, maybe poor Carlos was merely collateral damage. 

Then there’s pretty (weird) Cholla, James-Henri’s sister.  You have to keep a careful eye on that one.  Her lover—one of a few, it seems—is a strange one, too.  Yup, we definitely have our hands full trying to locate our perp.

Maybe you’d like to see how we fare?  If so, please check us out here…

https://www.amazon.ca/Forever-Poi-Tyler-Colins/dp/1079716483

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Blogger’s Block

The Boss asked if I’d do the post today because she’s not sure what to blog about.  Sounds like a great concept for a post: what do you do when you’re suffering from blogger’s block? 

You can search the internet for ideas; there are tons out there.  Or, you can think of your own, but if you’re experiencing blogger’s block, that probably ain’t gonna happen. 

I found one that I thought might be fun and totally useless in the grand scheme of things <he-he>: use five words to describe yourself, your blog or your business. 

Awesome.  I’ve asked my colleagues, JJ and Linda—and our boss, of course—to provide theirs . . .

JJ

Me:  trustworthy / sensible / frank / maturing / curious … Our business—the Triple Threat Investigation Agency:   settling (not settled) / developing (clients, reputation) / inexperienced / eager / efficient

Linda

Me:   multi-tasking / evolving  /  bookish  /  grounded  /  content … Our business—the Triple Threat Investigation Agency:   evolving / anticipative /  irregular / responsible / honest

Myself (Rey)

Me:   entertaining / daring / spirited / committed  /  cheeky … Our business—the Triple Threat Investigation Agency:   successful / confident / responsible / go-getting / keen

The Boss

Me:   weary / persevering / realistic / somber / steadfast … My business—blogging, writing:   committed / dependable / focused / informative / work-in-progress

To shake it up a bit, I got everyone to provide three words as to how we see one another.

JJ re Rey:   flaky / melodramatic / amusing … JJ re Linda:   bright / kooky / reserved … JJ re Boss:   focused / remote / sad

Linda re me (Rey):  flighty / corny / melodramatic … Linda re JJ:   conservative / careful / ever-learning … Linda re Boss:   committed / persistent / growing

Me (Rey) re Linda:   dry / traditional / brainy … Me (Rey) re JJ:   serious (too) / waffly / caring … Me (Rey) re Boss:   weak / over-caring / loyal

That was fun . . . and I’m sure we’ll be talking to one another again real soon.

And you?  How would you describe your amazing self? 

Blog-Loving

Several posts on this site have been about blogging—starting one, maintaining one, promoting one.  Then the odd one has been about the plans to enhance my own blog and develop services, which hasn’t yet happened due to personal life challenges.  Today, I thought I’d just write about the self-satisfaction of being a blogger.

Your website is where you submit and disclose things/information that are important to you.  You express—share—ideas, thoughts, emotions, worries, beliefs.  Your blog makes a statement . . . it conveys your identity.  Content aside, informational or entertaining, there’s a certain sharing of self; your material and voice are reflections of you. In essence, you’re putting a wee bit of yourself into every post. 

But there’s nothing better than the sheer pleasure—pride—that comes with a completed [scheduled] post.  And whether you’re edifying or inspiring/motivating readers and followers, or attracting individuals who share your interests, you’re drawing similar-minded people together.

The other great thing about blogging is development, professional and personal.  The more you write, the more skilled you become.  (I’m constantly reviewing my writing and, sometimes, I’ll even re-check definitions, spelling, grammar and punctuation rules—and lo and behold, I’ve found that I’ve flubbed up.)  And whether you’re providing professional or business information, or providing guidance, chances are you’re researching; as such, more development, more growth.  A very good thing indeed.

As you progress and post, you learn who you are, what your true voice is.  I tend to have a fairly flat voice, I believe, but when I write as Rey (one of the three private eyes from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency), I have an opportunity to be more “free”, because that’s who she is—a gal who doesn’t necessarily follow the rules and norms.  It’s fun taking on a role/persona and saying to <bleep> with the rules.

What’s also fun?  When you can look back three, five, ten years and re-read your posts.  Maybe you’ll cringe.  Maybe you’ll laugh.  Maybe you’ll pat yourself on the back and smile.  I, myself, wish I’d never deleted my Typepad blog.  Even if I only had one follower, I had some great posts (this I proudly state).  Alas, I’ll never be able to access them.  But such is life.

Lastly, you learn a few things about the technical and social sides.  If I’d never become a blogger, I’d have remained uninformed of so many things; I believe I’d rather have stagnated.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  Some things I’d taught myself, some I’d learned from others.  And while I will readily admit I could certainly acquire more knowledge, this is not the time [for me] to do so.

All this to say that I love being a blogger.  If you haven’t yet given blogging a try, do.  It’s an enriching experience.  And while it’s nice to make sales and have 10K followers—in my dreams, LOL—it’s great to commit to personal and professional growth.

Blog, if only for yourself. 

So, Ya Wanna E-Publish?

Hey, it’s Rey posting today.  A former client gave me the idea of tackling e-publishing.  Given a lot of people Linda, JJ and I know have signed up with e-publishers, it seemed a great idea to “chat” a bit about them.

From what I’ve researched, they say it can be a bit more difficult finding one of these as opposed to a traditional one (I’d have thought the opposite, but what do I know, he-he).  Why?  Because different e-publishers have different approaches.

All right, you’ve written your book and now you want to get it out there.  Bravo!  But who do you go with?  You should start by checking out books (genres) like yours and see who’s handling them.  Research the companies so you know who you’re dealing with, what they’re about, and what they’re looking for, and expect from you.

Other important questions to consider:

♦  What are their contracts like?  ♦    What are their formatting requirements?  ♦   Is there a print-on-demand option?  ♦     Will they design your book cover?  ♦     Who’s responsible for editing?  ♦     Where are they selling?  ♦     Who are their retail partners?  ♦     Will they help promote you?

There’s a lot (!) to know—and understand—before you sign up.

Don’t forget to check their standing.  Are there any complaints or “writer beware” statements and grievances?  Look closely and carefully.  Sure, it’ll take time and effort—but you put that into your book, didn’t you?  Make the best (wisest) choice.

Create a list of those e-publishers that look promising—are right for you and your book—and start submitting.  Another way to get a feel for who’s who: join on-line writing communities.  Get input from them.  Check, check, check.  Ask, ask, ask.  Make a list and start submitting.

E-publishers are more willing to take a chance on new writers, even if their books don’t necessarily fall within a traditional category/genre.  So, if you’ve just written a sci-fi-fantasy romance, hey, you may stand a good chance of being snapped up.

Being e-published offers the opportunity of developing a fanbase—whether you’re doing it on your own behalf and/or have your e-publisher’s assistance (chances are it’ll be on you to do, but never say never, as Cousin Jilly likes to say).  So, once you’ve got a book you’re your name is on it, recognize that that can lead to something exciting—with the right approach(es).

Sure, there are downsides to e-publishing, as with pretty much anything out there, but there’s no need to state them here; you’ll learn about them as you’re researching [the right] e-publishers to contact.

As private eyes, the three of us have ascertained (my new word) that the more thoroughly you investigate, the more you have a handle on how to resolve an issue or learn the reality of a situation.  Like a P.I., follow clues and examine evidence to solve your baffling case: which e-publisher would serve you best?

Doncha love short and sweet?

Making Memories with a New Novel – Memory Makers (Debbie De Louise)

Today, I’m pleased to feature Debbie De Louise and her new mystery novel Memory Makers (part of the Silver Dagger tour).

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps, age three, and her sister Patty, age five, were kidnapped from their Long Island backyard. Lauren was fortunate enough to escape her captor; Patty, sadly, was not.

Since then, Lauren has suffered from nightmares featuring the “Shadow Man”.  In an attempt to recall his face—and avenge her sister’s murder—Lauren, now a kidnapping investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

At the California offices of Memory Makers, she receives injections of the company’s special serum and starts to experience flashbacks re repressed memories.  Occurring in tandem with the flashbacks: threats from an anonymous source that point back to that wretched childhood trauma.

As she recalls moments from her past, she confronts facts about her relationship with Patty and her parents that she’d not previously, consciously, acknowledged.  Patty had always been her parents’ favorite.  “Baby Doll” to her father, she’d always been the one who got to choose which game to play, book to read, or place to go.

In addition to suffering survivor’s guilt at her sister’s death, Lauren experiences jealousy from a hurtful, harrowing childhood she must come to terms with.  There’s more on Lauren’s laden plate than finding “Shadow Man” (possibly before he finds her).  It’s about finding truths . . . and herself.

A little about Debbie . . . besides being an award-winning author and reference librarian on Long Island, she’s an active member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, and the Cat Writer’s Association (she has three lovely fuzzy felines).  Published novels include four books in the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks.  There’s also a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and a mystery thriller, Reason to Die.  And let’s not forget the psychological mystery, Sea Scope.  She has also published a romantic comedy novella and written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres.  Impressed?  I am.

Please visit Debbie at:

Website:  https://debbiedelouise.com / Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author / Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian / Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debbie-de-louise / Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW / Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Stay in Touch!

As writers and bloggers, it’s imperative to stay in touch—to acquire followers, visitors, friends.  Sure, there’s a sense of satisfaction in writing for oneself—the process, the completion—but [personally] I’d like to know that people are reviewing what I’m writing and posting.  As such, social media is our best friend . . . most of the time.  <he-he>

First and foremost, social media puts our stuff out there in the “real” world.  Folks can read it, comment on it, like it.  The one problem?  There are so many platforms!  I myself can barely keep up with the basics—the oldies but goodies—like Facebook and Twitter.  I’m particularly fond of Facebook because not only do I have my personal page, I have an author page.  I belong to several writing communities, which help me network and “advertise” my books (as well as encourage and back fellow writers and bloggers). 

There’s an amazing amount of support out there.  Other useful platforms include YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr.  (We’re talking “free advertising” as opposed to paying someone to advertise and network for us.)  Each one will have pros and cons; you determine which will work best for you and begin building that audience and driving traffic.

Brand yourself.  Tell the social media world who you are, what makes you different, why they should read/follow you.  Garner interest.  Having a presence is really rather necessary in this day and age, and social media platforms can serve as great promotional tools.  And the more of an audience (followers) you develop, the better you look to potential agents and publishers; they love numbers (but, then, so do we).  

Part of the presence is your integrity.  Ensure your work is typo-free and follows grammar and punctuation basics—depending on what you’re writing, of course (perhaps you’re into poetry or more eclectic stuff).  Be sincere and non-critical, unless you’re a reviewer but, even then, you want to offer constructive criticism. 

Give thought to your About page, your bio . . . you.  Be honest.  Be creative, funny, intriguing—whatever you believe reflects who you are and what you’re about.  Do keep it short and sweet, though; you want to maintain (pique) interest, not lose it.

Be consistent, too.  If you decide to engage several platforms, ensure the content is similar across the board: remember your brand, your identity.  You want it to be uniform, to reflect who and what you are.  And speaking of consistency, make sure you use those platforms regularly—remember “integrity”.  Consistency = constancy.  Ensure your audience can depend on you to be there regularly.

Something else to consider: how about streaming live?  If it fits your purpose (and personality), go for it. 

Final food for thought: your post/article or story/book may be completed.  But that’s not “the end”.  Well, it could be.  You could simply leave it and hope people find it and read it.  And maybe writing isn’t about sales for you (though, to be perfectly frank, I’d love to make some serious $$$ from my writing), but chances are you want to be read and recognized.  So, being a blogger/author doesn’t stop there; it means being a promoter and networker, and collaborator too.  We wear many hats . . . and that can prove challenging . . . but it can also be fun.

HA-HA-HA-HA—Nothing to Laugh About

Hey, it’s Rey today.  Just thought I’d update you on our latest case.  We’re calling it HA-HA-HA-HA because that’s how the killer likes to sign his “farewell” notes.  But these serial killings are nothing to laugh about.

We’re close to tying up the case.  Real close.  Dangerously close.  GrimReaperPeeper—GRP for short—is clever and cunning.  He constantly outsmarts the police.  Finding clues as to his whereabouts has been a major challenge.  This guy’s good.  Unfortunately.

Here’s an excerpt . . .

Several seconds later, the door opened—to reveal our three colleagues standing but a few feet away, two Tasers, a flashlight, and a camera raised.  It flashed.

“Talk about perfect timing,” Jimmy C said.

“Ugh, I’m blinded,” Rey griped.  “So?  What?  You been taking pics of the place?  Hoping for a big scoop?”

The big scoop,” he grinned, lowering the camera.

“We found Gail,” I announced.  “Adwin’s escorting her to the car.”

“GRP had the room—probably the entire house—bugged.  Guess he reckoned we’d figure it out,” Rey said.  “Shit, we should have grabbed that speaker.  Oh well.  The police’ll get it.”

Linda tucked the Taser in her hoodie pocket.  “Do you think GRP’s in here somewhere?”

I shook my head.  “He’s close, but not within reach.”

“We didn’t find much, except a well hidden beneath some dense shrubbery to the far rear of the ohana,” Sach said.  “And then, just when we were going to leave, we discovered this passageway.”

“Purely by accident,” Jimmy C said with a self-conscious smile.  “I tripped into it and it opened.”

“This place has suddenly become very creepy,” Sach grimaced.

“Did you lock up the ohana?” I asked.   

Linda nodded.  “Behind us, as soon as we entered.”

“Then let’s head back this way.  Given Ald’s incommunicado, we’ll call Hammill on the way home.”

“Shouldn’t we call him now?” Jimmy C asked.  “He and his team members would probably prefer we hang around.  Maybe I can get some interesting details for my story.”

“This place could be boobytrapped and, if it is, we may find more than confetti raining down on us,” I advised.  “Let’s not take chances.”

“I’m in total agreement.”  Sach pointed forward.  “Let’s get out of here, and fast!”

So, hopefully, you’ll be able to read about this exciting [taxing] case soon! 

In the meanwhile, stay safe, play smart.  Aloha!

Day Five, Final Day

Day Five, Final Day

… to get Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? for a mere 99 cents. 

Rookie private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda take on their first official case: to discover an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife’s secret.  Is it an affair as hubby, WP Howell, believes?  Or are more dastardly deeds in the wind?

It appears the latter because Carmie Howell is soon found in the waters off Oahu.  As the trio investigate, they stumble over a few more bodies.  Who’s responsible?  There’s a plethora of potential culprits.

Linda checked the mirrors and started the ignition. “Do you want the good news first or the bad?”

“Give me the bad.”

“It’s a two-parter.”

I couldn’t contain a Cousin Reynalda water-buffalo snort. “Of course it is.”

“Part one: Rey told me that she hasn’t been able to get any info on the Howells that we haven’t yet read or heard. But she’s expecting phone-backs from her Mainland film and theater contacts, so something of note could crop up. In terms of Salv, she didn’t come up with anything, but she did emphasize the word ‘yet’.”

“That’s partially bad news. There’s still hope,” I declared with a quick smile. “What’s part two?”

“Mr. Gruesome has no police record—”

“What!” I gazed at her in astonishment. “A guy like that has no police record?”

“That’s correct,” she affirmed with a smirk. “A couple of officers recognized him, courtesy of your drawing. Deff, Makjo’s lunch buddy, said he’s known around the station, but he’s never been caught with any fingers in a till.”

I exhaled slowly. “What’s the good news?”

“We have a name: it’s Kale Karaoke Loulu.”

“Karaoke?”

“The guy likes to sing. Apparently, he’s got a good set of pipes.”

“Who’d have thought?” I settled in and motioned ahead. “Onward, my faithful fellow private eye. Lunch beckons.”

If the Triple Threat Investigation Agency P.I.s have piqued your interest, perhaps you’d like to check them out Hula at:

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.